My family and I just returned from a week at the Marriott Playa Andaluza. We had a great time in Spain and this property was perfect for what we wanted and needed. We received absolutely fabulous service from everyone we dealt with, with special acknowledgement to the fantastic staff at the concierge desk, who offered us assistance with excursions, directions to various attractions, dining recommendations and overall help with everything we needed.
One thing that I must make note of is the front desk and concierge desk knowing who I was from day one. After checking in, any time I came to the front, I was greeted by name. Where have you ever heard of that? Extraordinary! It made me feel important and special, which never happens in the travel and hospitality industry anymore. Hats off to all of them.
We stayed in a 2B/2BA villa in the Granada building. The room was of the quality I have come to expect as an owner in the MVC group. As an owner at another MVC property, I was given a pre arrival request email, which allowed me to request a location within the complex where I wanted to stay. Not sure this is available to everyone, but I asked for sea view, high floor, morning sun and in the Granada building. I got what I requested.
We rented a car in Malaga upon arrival and drove down, which then allowed us the ability to explore the area and go to restaurants and such on our own. The property itself is not within walking distance of very much, so you will have to have a car, or use taxis or the bus. It is pretty easy to get around by car, so that is my recommendation if you want to go to Marbella or Puerto Banus.
The hotel itself has a decent restaurant, Solera, which we ate at a couple of times (mostly just lunch). We did go on Tuesday night to see the Flamenco show, which was ok for 6.5 euro. I wouldn't go out of my way to go see it, but if you are on property that night, it is a decent show.
The weather was not conducive to beach or pool while we were there, but we did walk the beach. It is very rocky and windy. I would imagine they do more work on it in season. They have an indoor pool with hot tubs, although we did not use it.
They have a nice gym with new equipment, all clean and in good working order.
The grounds are impeccably maintained and even though the weather was not beach/pool warm, all pools were operational and spotlessly clean.
We booked tours through the concierge for Morocco, Gibraltar and the Ronda/White towns with an add on to the Joaquin Fernandez winery. I would recommend all of them. The ease of having everything handled and the bus just showing up to pick you up was very convenient. And you knew they were reputable companies as Marriott recommended them. We really loved the Morocco trip. They work all the custom paperwork for you, so you pass through border control very easily. This is important, because if you go there by yourself, you have to go through Moroccan customs and I have heard this can be a bit hairy in Tangier. It's a good one day glimpse at that part of the world, although controlled with a guide. If you have never been to Morocco, it is a nice little intro. Be prepared for the peddlers. They are all over you, but if you ignore them and keep moving, you will be fine.
Gibraltar was fun. I have read from others that it is not worth it, but we had a great guide who made it enjoyable. You get to see the monkeys (of course) and some fantastic views of the straight of Gibraltar, Mediterranean and Atlantic oceans. You get free time in the main square, where you can get a fish and chips with a pint of ale (I recommend Roys). A nice British break.
The Ronda trip was unique in that it is a private jeep tour with a group as small as 3 people. You get to see the village of Ronda plus have lunch in one of the ancient white villages. We mused at the realization that the whole town where we ate had a population of less people than my sons middle school. The extra trip to the winery was very nice. It is a small, organic winery and we met Joaquin himself, had a generous wine tasting with a nice tapas spread.
Please see my other reviews for more details about these side trips and restaurants/visits to Marbella and Puerto Banus. We also went to Selwo animal park (disappointing) and did the cable car in Malaga (fun).
Overall, this was a great trip and the Marriott was a good home base for our outings. If you are looking for a quiet, spacious place to call home while you see the sites of Costa del Sol, then this is the place for you. If you are looking for lively, energetic resort with tons of things happening, you should look elsewhere. For us, it was perfect.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Marriott's Playa Andaluza invites you to a place of relaxation surrounded by lush beauty. Located in beautiful Malaga, Spain, alluring backdrops accompany yoru stay. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Marriott`s Playa Andaluza Hotel Estepona
- Marriott Vacation Club Estepona
- Marriotts Hotel Estepona
- Marriott Estepona
- Estepona Marriott
- Marriott Playa Andaluza
- Marriott's Playa Andaluza Estepona, Spain - Costa Del Sol